Friday, January 18, 2013

Recap: 2013 SoCal Baseball and Sports Collectors Expo

I meant to write this post last Monday but I've been under the weather all week and haven't been online that much. Late but here it is...

I went to the 2013 SoCal Baseball and Sports Collectors Expo that took place in Anaheim last weekend. I did go all 3 days.

Over 15 players were signing autographs. I didn't need the big guys like Matt Kemp, Tony Gwynn, Jered Weaver and Adrian Gonzalez. I have their autographs. I wanted the less known players to the kids like Robb Nen, Kevin Mitchell, Hubie Brooks, Brett Butler, etc.

I'm not going to post all the pictures here. I don't want you to get bored. But if you want to see them all, click here.

Inside -

Inside the Sports ExpoInside the Sports Expo

Here's Brett Butler signing my Dodger Stadium seat -

Usually no one is going to ask you "What's your name?" Butler did. I told him my name and he said "Roberto, it's nice meeting you". That was nice. 

Brett Butler

I saw this huge Mike Piazza Starting Lineups figurine on Friday. Was going to buy it but decided to wait until Sunday to see if he can give me a deal. It was gone by then. I think I know who might have purchased it.

Mike Piazza Starting Lineups Figurine

This was cool to see in person. A Babe Ruth signed ball. It's up for bid by Mile High Card Company. {linked here}

Babe Ruth signed ball

You should buy this DVD - 'Ball Talk' Click here for more info.

Ball Talk DVD

Jay Johnstone had a table. Spent most of the time watching the football game.

Jay Johnstone show table

This is cool. Big Mike Piazza card collection. Framed really nice. He had other frames displayed and I was impressed. If you're interested in getting something done, talk to Lonnie. He's in Costa Mesa. {linked here} He's done stuff for athletes. He showed me his latest work that he did with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Tell him I sent you!

Mike Piazza Framed Card collection

Matthew Hammons has spent 15 years pitching in the Minor Leagues, Mexican League, you name it. He noticed my Cuban World Baseball Classic sweater and told me he pitched against Cuba once. Gave me his baseball card and photo.

Also talked to me about his invention, the Pitching Tunnel. It's great. Click here for more info.

Matthew Hammons

Other dealers that caught my attention...

Do you want a baseball bat with "swag"? This is fantastic. Check out

This dealer has a big Cuban baseball card collection for sale. Click here.

Bloggers that have already posted stories of this show...

Ernest of Dodgers Blue Heaven. He got a few nice things. I'm surprised I didn't see you! {linked here}

Michael of Nomo's Sushi Platter went old school with Brooklyn cards. {linked here}

Click here if you want to see more pictures!

Thanks to Jack of JD Legends Promotions and Jim of Honabach & Sons for everything.


ernest said...

Ya know, I was actually thinking to myself that whole afternoon that you were probably there. I'm surprised I didn't see you too.

I loved the selection of vintage cards and memorabilia at the show. There was much more there than I expected to see.

Roberto Baly said...

@ Ernest - Next time!

I agree. It was nice seeing all those vintage cards.

ernest said...

Now that I take a closer look at the pic of the card dealer tables, I have to ask you a question. Were there more dealers setup on Saturday than on Sunday? I noticed several empty tables on Sunday, and wondered if some sellers chose not to come out for Sunday. I've always hated that about card shows, but I figured that might be the case.

Roberto Baly said...

Yes, a few did not return Sunday. I also have to wonder if this show takes place again next year since it wasn't well attended. I just think these type of shows might now work in southern California.

Unfortunately I think it has to do with the economy. I mean some might argue that it was ok but from past experience, I've seen more people.

That's why you see all the big shows in the east coast.

Your thoughts...

ernest said...

I've always felt the death of card shows in SoCal was threefold:

1- when the market dumped in the mid-90's a large part of the collector base disappeared- many forever. So many folks were taken in by the "I'll get rich" attitude that when it proved to be false, they chose to never come back simply out of embarrassment.

2- I was a dealer back in the late 80's and early 90's and remember speaking with many other dealers who lamented at the existence of a warehouse shows like Frank & Sons. What's the point of a special "Big" show if there is a show every weekend at the same place that's free.

3- internet has taken over as the main selling/buying vehicle for collectors who did eventually come back to the hobby

I would say that with all likelihood (90%+) that we will never see another National Sports Convention in Southern California. Anaheim used to be the biggest show in the nation, but now crowds are too small. And many of the large east coast dealers refuse to come out here anymore because of the cost and the lack of attendance.

On the other hand, there is a movement afoot by some vintage card dealers who desperately want to bring back card shows to LA and OC. The vintage card collector is often different than a modern card collector. There tends to be more of an old-school attitude; where the exchange of stories and being able to hold a card before buying it is a highly desirable experience.

I think the best way to make something like this successful is to think smaller. A show at the Marriott is great, but the cost of admittance and parking ($10!!!) is ridiculous. Shows should return to small halls and malls. There used to be a very active promoter of card shows in indoor malls (Borowitz twins if I remember right) in the 80's and 90's. Someone should try to bring that back.

The economy obviously has an effect, but I think it's fair to say that the card show glut even existed during the high-flying 2000's. But you are right, attendance is nothing like what it use to be.

As you can probably tell, this is something I've thought a lot about.

Roberto Baly said...

Great points. I can't argue with you. I get most of the latest cards online. Yeah, $10 for entrance and $10 for parking will hurt everyone. I didn't even park there. I actually parked about a mile away in front of some apartments and walked. I think that's how I got sick. So cold.

There will be another vintage show. It looks like it's being run by different people though.

I did attend a National show in Anaheim in the 90's. I remember you couldn't walk with so many people! By the way, I've sent them a email before and they actually told me they want to return to Anaheim but are having problems with reserving hotel rooms. I guess they won't guarantee spots for something that won't happen until five years from now. Who knows.

Stealing Home said...

I totally agree with you Roberto, about the fees. I think that's the biggest reason for a drop in attendance. I was excited about that show until I saw one third of my budget gone before I even walked in the door. I said "chale" to that show. (i don't know how to make the accent mark LoL)
I checked the link for the other vintage show. $3 admission is absolutely reasonable.
BTW- I went to the National in Anaheim also. That was a great show. Even ebay junkies appreciate the camraderie of a big show and the chance to see cards in the real.